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Giving Our Hearts Away

Since Brandon and I were engaged we have dreamed of our future, and quite assuredly, dysfunctional family 😉 .  We have dreamed BIG and we have often laughed at how ridiculous some of our dreams seemed in comparison to what society deems the norm.  While we have laughed a ton, we have also often sat in the discomfort of having absolutely no real control over those dreamed plans.  Isn’t the unknown so hard, yet so invigorating?  I’m quite certain I am not the only one that looks to the unknown and then finds myself allowing doubts, mistrust, and fear to creep into and take root in the smallest crevices of my heart all while still holding onto BIG hope and BIG prayers.

This season that God is so gently leading me in feels like just that….BIG hope with a mix of BIG fears.  I believe God has given us each dream we have giggled over, each passion we have planned out in our fantasy future, but I also know, it will all come into fruition in God’s good and perfect timing and most likely way better than we could have ever really dreamed.  But, what if its not God’s plan to give us (what we think are) the desires of our hearts?  What if our dreams of our future are nowhere close to the dreams He has for us, for our family?  Can I still say confidently, that His plans will be way better than my own?  Oh man do I wrestle with these fears in those aforementioned crevices.

I often find myself watching our Elliana Jayne play, and get lost in praise for God blessing so much more than we could have EVER hoped or imagined.  She is daily a reminder that He, despite all of my fears, all of my doubts, all of my mistrust, will be faithful.  He is always faithful.  Always.  Even when during some seasons, it looks differently than I may dream, I know I will be able to look back and see the faithful hand of the Father all over our story.  That is where my hope lies.  My hope is in the knowledge that I have a good Father that will work ALL THINGS for the best.  Not the okay, not the good, not the sustainable, not the enough, but the BEST.

So, here I sit ready to step into a new season and my heart is racing with excitement for what God has in store.  God has opened a new door for our family that we did not expect to open so soon (because we didn’t want to open it yet, if I am being completely honest).  It’s a door that scares us to the depths of our being, but it also is bringing about light and love that we have not yet known and we haven’t even walked all the way through the door!

Tomorrow evening, we will sit down around our dining room table for the 2nd meeting with sweet Ms. Deanna.  It will be my turn to be “prodded” about my past, my present, and my possible future.  Our house will have another walk through and guidelines will be checked off.  What feel like nosey questions, and absurd rules will be spouted off and diligently passed through.  The layers of our marriage, parenting, and every day life will be peeled back with nothing held back.  We will lay our hearts on the table and pray that we are deemed “suitable”.

This is foster care.

Like I said before, we didn’t plan on opening this door so soon.  I mean, seriously, we have a wild and beautiful 14 month old that keeps us on our toes day in and day out.  If you have had the pleasure of meeting Elliana Jayne, you know just the little spitfire that she is.   It really feels as though we just got into a great groove as a family of three.  Each of us certainly live busy lives that we have learned to navigate and love and our hearts have felt content and full.

But then, God beckoned us out of nowhere to attend an informational foster care meeting down the street at a local church back in June.  It wasn’t really planned, it wasn’t even really discussed in much depth between Brandon and I.  It just kind of happened.  We heard the numbers.  We heard the need.  We left after a two hour gathering with the same consensus.  God wasn’t nudging us, He was throwing us over the side of the boat to walk out on the depths of the deep.  He was loud and clear in whispering to our hearts, “these are my children, care for them as I would.”  For the next three days we spent 6-8 hours in a room with others at Revolution Church getting the training needed to jump in feet first, praying along the way that God would allow us to walk and not sink.

We are not superheroes, I mean we wouldn’t even get a “world’s best parent” certificate, but we have a lot of love to offer.  We have a home that can put a roof over little heads and food to put into little tummies.  Most importably we have Jesus that loves them more than we do, and we can trust He is going to walk us through the hard of what is foster care.  We have already heard a lot of “I couldn’t do it”, “My heart would break to give them back”, “What if they are messed up?” … my response, “Yes actually you could, and yes, our hearts will break but they will also rejoice in remembrance of the time we got to invest into their little hearts, and yeah, they probably will be “messed up”, just like the rest of us so its a good thing we have a Savior that is full of mercy and grace.”

This is not quite what our dreams looked like and there is so much fear walking into the absolute unknown, but we are confident that if God has called us to it, He will graciously walk us through it.  We are blessed with a beautiful community around us that are champions of prayer and love for our little family and we will know that will continue as our family changes in how it looks, how it functions.  As we continue to navigate getting ready for a little one(s) to enter our home through foster care there are a few things we ask of our community:

  1. Be praying over the next month as we wrap up home studies, and get the final approval from the state of Georgia to be a certified home for foster care.
  2. We are still in need of a crib and twin beds (or bunk beds that separate into twin beds) for the room.  We are open to children from birth to 5 and sibling groups, so the room has to be ready for all of the above before we can be officially certified.  So, if you have or know someone that has these items for sale shoot me a message as we would appreciate not having to buy them new at a higher cost.
  3. Some family and friends that have been a part of this journey from the beginning have asked how they can help so I have set up a “baby registry” of items that would help us get the room ready for the kid(s) that will be coming to stay with us if would like to help in that way.
  4. Again, pray.  Pray that we would keep our hearts open and that our faith would be BIG in the midst of the unknowns.

And this is about the reaction we all have around here….

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